Spartan Tattoo Meaning, Design & Ideas

When you think of warriors these days, one can almost hear the “haroo, haroo” in the background. This little quote is taken from the movie 300 and the warriors stepping foot onto the battlefield were the Spartans. Spartan warriors were known as some of the toughest and best fighters ever. This was brought to the attention of many average people after the move, 300 came out.

Born in the land of Sparta, these soldiers are known for their wits and fearlessness. Those wearing the Spartan on their body or most likely trying to embody some of those Spartan traits that we’ve heard so much about.

Tattoos of warriors are widespread these days as it will always be deep in a man’s soul to be likened to one of these timeless warriors. The Spartan tattoo has many meanings that we will go over. Most of them revolve around traits that a warrior might have. The tattoos can be as fierce and bold as the person wearing them would want to be.

Just a little history lesson into how Spartan soldiers were raised so you have a sense of the kind of men they were. Spartan males begin training at the age of 6. At this time, he would leave his family’s house and go live in a barracks with other young boys. During this time, the boys were taught the ‘pyrriche’ which was essentially a dance while holding weaponry. What this did was make the boys nimble while holding their weaponry

When the boy turned 12, the training was ramped up. Here they were stripped of most of their clothes, barely fed and were given the bare minimum of a bed to sleep on. This method was to make the boys have hunger pangs and suffer a bit. In theory, this made them tough and resourceful. They would actually steal to eat and if they were caught, they were punished. However, they weren’t punished because they stole but because they were caught doing it.

Spartan Tattoo Symbolism

Power and Authority

The Spartan tattoo is a symbol of power. These men behind the masks we know so well were some of the most powerful warriors to ever pick up the sword. The stories behind them will stand the test of time. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of the power we hold within and the Spartan tattoo is sometimes used to be that reminder.


Another trait of the Spartan warrior is their code of honor. There was a strict laconic code of honor in the Spartan army. In this code, no one Spartan was better than another. Any reckless or rage-filled behavior was not tolerated as it jeopardized the man standing next to you. Spartan men were men of few words and walked softly. They were known more for their wits and calm determination. In this way, a Spartan tattoo represents honor. It’s a quality we all strive for and respect. In this way, it’s understandable to get a Spartan tattoo to represent this trait.


Spartan warriors were renowned for their bravery. It was the ultimate virtue for a Spartan warrior. As the story goes, Spartan mothers would tell their sons to return with their shield or return on it. Even the mothers were brave in the sense told their sons to either win or die trying. There are stories of Spartan armies winning battles being completely outnumbered. They won because of their bravery and tactics. A Spartan tattoo is a testament to the brave men who fought for Sparta.


Discipline was one of the most important traits of a Spartan warrior. If a soldier wasn’t disciplined, he might risk the life of the soldier standing next to him. The phalanx formation connected the shields of the soldiers so there were no gaps in the formation. Then the soldier would usually have their spears coming out. The formation was supposed to represent a wall that was impenetrable. If one soldier was undisciplined, the whole wall could collapse. In essence, it was probably the most important aspect of the Spartan soldier. Therefore, a Spartan tattoo represents discipline as well.

Spartan Tattoo Designs


The Spartan helmet is one of the most recognizable helmets ever. Partly because the movie, 300, made it popular. This logo is a symbol of grit and toughness. You will usually see a grizzled warrior behind the Spartan helmet tattoo, but you might just see the helmet itself. Many will get this tattoo on their chest or shoulder. Really it can be placed anywhere there is enough room for it.


The Spartan shield was considered an extension of his body. It was said that wives and mothers told their counterparts that they either come back with their shield or come back on it. Soldiers were punished severely if they lost their shield in battle even more so than any other part of their armor. This was because the other armor was for their safety while the shield was for the common good of all the soldiers. These shields were leather and were covered in bronze, so they were concave and the soldiers could use them for bashing. The shield tattoo represents unity as far as the Spartans are concerned. If one shield is lost, the line is lost.


Another popular Spartan tattoo was that of Leonidas. He was the Spartan leader who led his army against Xerxes in the Battle of Thermopylae. The story goes that Leonidas led an army of 300 against the whole Persian army. The Spartans held the Persians off for seven days before they were flanked and had one of the most famous last stands ever. This is what inspired the movie and one of the reasons why so many people are enamored with the Spartan army.

As you can see, there are a lot of reasons to get a Spartan tattoo. They represent a lot of admirable qualities that most people would love to describe themselves as. One way to remind ourselves to be better is to get a tattoo as a reminder.

We hope this article has helped you understand more about the Spartan army and why so many love this tattoo. If you have any questions, reach out to us and we can help. We have years of experience in matching up customers with the tattoo artist that would fit them best. We would love to help so if you need us, we’ll be here.

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